September 05, 2009

BNP gets a slot on BBC's Question Time

The BBC has provoked controversy by giving the British National party a platform for the first time on Question Time, its top current affairs programme.

Nick Griffin, the BNP leader who was elected to the European parliament in June, is expected to be on the show in October. The corporation has decided that the far-right party deserves more airtime because it has demonstrated “electoral support at a national level”.

The move has caused consternation among politicians, with some Labour MPs and at least one cabinet minister pledging to boycott Question Time. They fear the BNP will use the publicity to promote a racist agenda.

The change in policy has also triggered dissent within the BBC. One senior correspondent, who did not want to be named, said: “It’s barmy ... Public servants can be sacked for membership of the BNP and yet the BBC wants to give them airtime with the main political parties.”

The BBC changed its position after the party won two seats at the European elections. Its share of the national vote at that poll was 6.2%. “They got across a threshold that has given them national representation and that fact will be reflected in the level of coverage they will be given,” said Ric Bailey, the BBC’s chief adviser on politics. “This is not a policy about the BNP. It’s a policy about impartiality.”

The decision was approved by Mark Byford, the deputy director-general. David Dimbleby, the show’s host, backed the change.

This weekend the mainstream political parties were divided in their reaction. The Tories and the Liberal Democrats have told the BBC they are prepared to share a platform with the BNP, arguing that its policies must be confronted.

Labour is considering its position. “The custom is that Labour does not share a platform with the BNP, but given the impact of the BBC’s guidelines on our and other mainstream political parties’ position, we are reviewing this,” it said.

One cabinet minister said he would refuse to sit alongside Griffin or other BNP representatives on any BBC panel show: “Nobody’s happy about this. I don’t imagine anyone would be content to go on with them.”

John Mann, Labour chairman of the all-party group on anti-Semitism, said: “It’s absurd to give the BNP any space. This is how Hitler came to power and these people have got the same objectives. It’s typical BBC intellectualism giving them airtime.”

Times Online


Anonymous said...

It's no surprise. There are people in the BBC who have wanted to do this for years - Richard Dimbleby (the presenter)actually raised this on air about 2 years back when he mooted the question, "should Newsnight allow Nick Griffin to be part of the panel?"

They probably see it as a ratings winner and it's the next logical step in the BBC's efforts to legitimise this foul party. They see the BNP as some kind of interesting 'plaything' and a 'sexy' story which will get people engaged and provoke debate. Sadly, history shows us that fascist parties tend to be tigers that turn around and eat their manipulators.

Anonymous said...

what ?

jen said...

The other pannelists due to be on the show should all refuse to go on the same show as Gri££in.

Therefore there would be no show!

Anonymous said...

I've always thought the 'no platform' argument was redundant. I'd like to see the bnp clarify / justify their policies.


billybluey said...

Politicians from all the main parties should be warned by party whips not to take part in this show.

Before the elections, most candidates refused to be filmed with Griffin, so this refusal to play ball with the BNP should continue to make sure this programme is not broadcast.

Plus if it does happen, there should be protests outside of the venue used to hold this edition of question time.

Angry said...

This is final: - once and for all, the BBC LOVE THE BNP and regard them as a normal political party, which is strange bearing in mind that plenty of their own journalists are the mainstays of Redwatch.

Anonymous said...

So 'NOT THE BNP' in Birmingham gets prime time news coverage and now 'THE REAL BNP' gets this.

Has the BBC got a hidden agenda?

peewee said...

“This is not a policy about the BNP. It’s a policy about impartiality.”

If there was a Legalise Sex With Children Party, and they got over the threshold of votes, would they too get full debating privedges with the BBC?

Just which of the BBC's governors are far right synpathisers? Somebody needs to examine the men at the top in the Beeb. Some may be wearing brown shirts under their grey suits!

There HAS to be BNP sympathisers within the BBC. It's just a case of considering each BBC governer until somebody with extreme rightwing credentials is sussed out as the source of the BBC's sickening pro-Nazi policy.

Anonymous said...

Complain about it here:

Raised Trouser Legs said...

It's an Establishment thing, and the BNP (well NG) now attends lodge meetings as his father Edgar Griffin has for years.

Thus the normalisation process of the BNP, of which, their change of heart at allowing black and Asian members into the party is part of a trade off deal (all square!!!)

Anonymous said...

It's funny handshake time, dudes. Gri££in is now one of the club along with the governers of the BBC.

Wes said...

This could be a disaster, not for Griffin but for us.

Please if it goes ahead can we avoid the demo from the audience or studio invasion etc, any delay to, or even the disruption to QT will play right into his hands. Can you imagine how he would play it. The thing to do now is try and get the beeb to invite a member of UAF, hope not hate to sit on the panel as well. They shouldnt have much agrument agasint this, they have to include a balanced panel.

The QT invite is no surprise, and I'm not agasint it, as long as the other members of the panel are of the quality to stand upto him. Lets invite Trevor Philips, Shami Chakrabarti and Dianne Abbott to sit next to him, oh and maybe Peter Thatchel - lets have some fun with it.

Anonymous said...

It's time we got rid of the Dumbleby brothers from our screens once and for all.

Barbara said...

That's why there has to be a serious rethink of the King Canute-style 'no-platform' stance.
The BNP has a platform, and so should anti-fascists.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Wes, Tatchell would be good and although I know he wouldn't go on but Gerry Gable of Searchlight would wipe the smug grin off of Griffin's ugly face.

There needs to be no demos outside but plenty of anti-fascists need to be in amoung the audience and ambush the creep with searching questions.

gerry said...

The BBC are boasting how they will get rid of the Labour Party's "No Platform" policy: -

The BBC most definately love the BNP.

Anyone who discovered what went on at the RWB with the Gollywog burning, know they are NOT a political party and must not be treated as such!

Ben said...

The audience get vetted for a range of opinion, and you can be sure that there will be plenty of extreme right wingers invited to the crowd.

Just to remind people the BNP are indeed a neo-nazi party, they Simon Darby advertise via Stormfront for BNP supporters to apply to be in the audience in droves to give the impression that the BNP are far more popular than they actualy are - rather like Simon Darby's Troll Army.

The licence-fee punchdrunk BBC will, of course, fall for this hook, line and sinker.

bluelagoon said...

We've known for ages that the BBC loves the BNP, which is why they never report on any damanging cases for the BBC, turning political correctness on its head.

Even Robert Cottage didn't attract more than a passing mention on the SIx O Clock News in the latter part of the broadcast after some useless story about the price of computer games, and before the World Tiddlywinks Championships Update, when most of the audience had got up to make a cup of tea.

Beware! said...


A friend of mine applied to go on the audience on Question Time.

Sadly, and so many people don't realise this, the so-called spontaneous audience questions are vetted in-advance, so Mr Dumbleby knows exactly which question is coming next.

Audience members must not only disclose to the BBC audience selection panel their political allegance, but must promise only to repeat on mircophone pre-agreed audience questions about a set topic, usually one audience member speaks only once on the show, and is not permitted to deviate from the script, a script planned by the BBC's political department to ensure opinions are voiced that are approved by the BBC only.

Even extra questions towards the end of the show when people put their hands up, are manipulated by political editors, to remove any chance of awkward questions being asked.

In the past, microphones above certain audience members have been switched off to prevent some people being heard. This happened during the declaration of the War on Iraq.

And to add to anti-facsist woes, the entire show is recorded and edited, so any awkward questions and disapproval of the audience will be not shown.

Communist China couldn't do any better in stage-managing political opinion than the bloody BNP.

Anonymous said...

Everything in Question Time is contrived to give the impression is is spontaneous when in-fact every fart is pre-agreed in triplicate. Even the invited panel of guests are limited to speak on certain topics by calling time, or moving-on, "Let's move on, as time is short", says Dimbelby, even if there is forty minutes of the programme remaining.

K Stevens said...

The broadcast is likely to be held in Manchester Town Hall, and they will say he is invited as one of the region's MEPs. I don't know if anyone's been there but it's a large building with acoustics which will swallow up any unmicrophoned sound in an instant.

Also, the questions asked by both the panel and the people who applied to be in the audience will be vetted and forced to ask contrived questions.

The show is of course edited, so it's not live.

As far as panelists go, Dimbelby and friends will probably choose a useless mixture of rightwing, anti-immigration tories such as Philip Davies from Shipley, (but not UKIP who hate Gri££in's guts), Harriet Harmon or some other wishy-washy Labour Party snore-inducing spokesperson, and maybe the editor of the Spectator.

The topics discussed (whether or not they are topical - contrived themes are latched onto current events, e.g., you can always find a story about anything happening somewhere in the world to tie-in with the Political Editor's chosen themes).

Topics will include "immigration" to give Gri££in a mouthpiece, "the NHS" cos any chump can give his tuppenorth about failing health conditions, etc, "terrorism" so Gri££in can affirm the party's supposed opposition to Islamic Extremists, "farming" so Cyclops can remind everyone that he's a humble pig farmer, to help him win rural votes, and last but not least, "education" - e.g., the future of the government's education syllabus in schools so the one-eyed rabble rouser can freely use the terms "political correctness" and "brainwashing" in regards to anti-racist and anti-homophobic teaching in schools.

Each pre-chosen panelist will know the topics, and even the content of Dimbleby's Questions at three days before the broadcast, allowing enough time for Gri££in and Darby to plot how they can shove plenty of pro-BNP party propaganda into each and every topic.

This is the crux of Question Time - it will NOT question and hold up to scrutiny the prejudices and beliefs of the BNP.

It will purely and simply put Gri££in on a level playing field with proper politicians, which is all part and parcel with the Establishment's "normalising process", in which it attempts to make the BNP appear to be an ordinary political party in the eyes of the public, not a motley crew of Holocaust deniers, white supremacists and gollywog-burning social misfits.

Anonymous said...

The posters who believe Question Time will turn the tables on the BNP are extremely deluded to the point of living in Cloud Cuckoo Land.

David Dimbleby would never allow this to happen, and the themes and topics of each show, audience questions are pre-agreed well in advance, and there are handy-little time limitations put on sticky situations, to let Nick Griffin squirm out of any hole by Dimbleby having to move onto another topic.

Question Time sucks, and I gave up watching the show once I learnt everything was stage-managed, and nothing was at it seems.

Anonymous said...

Interesting aside - Lee Barnes knows that the "membership question" has already been decided:

By the time we get on the show we will have amended the constitution - so when they throw the 'racists' and 'nazis' smear at us then Nick can legtimately say 'we are a party that allows everyone to join the BNP, therefore we cannot be called Nazi or racist...'

rugbyman said...

Nobody's going to be allowed to give hallowed Gri££in a hard time on this particular broadcast.

If the audience all start loudly booing Gri££in's racism when he is gifted by Dimbleby with a gift-horse topic of immigration, certain ceiling mics would be panned down in a matter of seconds. Plus the boos would be either cut out totally or panned down or muted by the technical editor under strict instructions of the political editor before broadcast.

Plus topics will be changed rapidly to take the heat off Gri££in.

vodafone engineer said...

When any audience member dares to deviate from the script, they will be humiliated by the interviewer interrupting with such barbed remarks as "that wasn't the question you were meant to be asking - let's not be naughty, f'ner", in his regular condscending put down tone, rendering any non-scripted subversion into the dustbin, while Cyclops smirks like a Cheshire cat who's got all the cream.

ollie said...

I hope New Labour refuse to participate on the programme as it is contrived and stage-managed.

If anybody thinks Gri££in will put on the spot by either David Dimbleby, the piss-weak programmed panelists, or the pre-chosen audience, think again.

There's more chance of a protestor's egg striking the one-eyed neo-nazi loser on the forehead than Griffin being asked awkward questions about the party's white supremacism.

A live, unscripted broadcast with decent panelists and a random, non-fascist infiltrated audience, yes, but not this stage-managed BNP propaganda fest.

Brummie said...

I wonder what Richard Littlejohn, the BBC's number 1 'critic' will make of this??

And Jeremy Clarkson?? Wonder if we'll see Griffin on Top Gear next???

mini driver said...

Stormfront, Twitter and the Yahoo BNP Mailing List will all remind BNP supporters to apply to be on the programme in their droves, advising many people to hide their political alegances from the audience selection panel.

BNP members will pretend to be Labour supporters, Tories, Liberal Democrats and the followers of no party, to dominate the audience with people who will cheer Gri££in each time he speaks, and the Dumbass beeb will fail to realise that the BNP have hijacked the audience until it is too damn late, and the damage has been done, and is irreversable.

If the hall is filled with Nick Griffin supporters, Joe Blogs watching at home will be duped into believing the BNP are the most popular party in Britain.

Griffin must think he's died and gone to Valhalla.

Anonymous said...

We all know Cyclops will not be put under any pressure by the programme. He will merely be sanitised as "one of the guests" which must not be allowed to happen.

The show must not be allowed to go ahead. Hopefully the electricians union, and BECTU will call on its members to strike during filming.

kettlepot said...

Do you know that BBC Video of the EDL thugs broadcast on the BBC website yesterday, Ketlan, was an EDL supporter making a nazi salute right in-front of a policeman?

Anonymous said...

Dimbleby is crafty and will lead on the conversation to safe topics if Gri££in starts to sink and take in water.

The show will be a 101% propaganda coup for the BNP, especially NG, who will cement his strangehold over the party by playing the people's hero/ persecuted victim in-front of an audience of millions.

mary contrary said...

BNP members/supporters/Stormfronters will dominate the audience.

"Gentleman with the white power tattoo", Dumbleby will announce, when searching for an extra (but contrived) question towards the end of the programme, when the camera moves into the audience.

Anonymous said...

Plus if it does happen, there should be protests outside of the venue used to hold this edition of question time.

That will help Griffin no end

irishtony said...

Oh ye of Little faith

The anti fash comments on here are all from people worried about fat Nick succeeding in some sort of political triumph for getting on a late night political show.

Over on Stormfront the fash are panicking that fat Nick is been drawn into a trap and the whole idea is for the BBC to try and destroy the BNP.

neither camp having any faith in this is ironic

Personally I cant wait to see the fat bungling idiotic man try and worm his way out of the questions, regardless of any preparations he may make. He cant help but screw up

I really believe that this will be disastrous for the BNP,s one man show

GT said...

The show must not be allowed to go ahead. Hopefully the electricians union, and BECTU will call on its members to strike during filming.

It is not 1977 anymore the programme is produced by an independent production company which is unlikely to have any union recognition. Any protest outside or in will earn the BNP more sympathy. I can just imagine the ranters in the audience making the cause look ignorant by trying to constantly shout down any responses from Griffin. The black people interviewed by the BBC in Birmingham yesterday said the EDL should be allowed to protest if it was not violent, therefore we need to respond to public feelings better in our dealings with the BNP. We need to be more clever but Harman has handed Griffin a gift, as he will say we are on longer racist and refer to his new Sikh and Hindu members that Wingfield is promoting.

Anonymous said...

For Labour to pull out would be a disaster. The days of forcing a cancellation by no-show are over. Griffin would be left with a tame panel and (as mentioned) the audiance is manipluated. In truth this is the only way they can ensure a programme doesn't go awry so if Griffin is on he's won. But I don't think you can put the genie back in the bottle any more. I said it before tactics need to change to confronting the policies by scrutiny. Not for the lazy or inarticulate but thats how the landscape is changing. If demos are seen as the response Griffin will win hands down. They have learned to adapt why cant the antifa?

iliacus said...

I think this is the most depressing thread I've ever read on here.

Not just because of the news of NG getting a public platform on QT, which is bad enough, but because some of the conspiracy theories on here which read like the deranged nonsense of a Lee Barnes or something on Stormfront.

If the BNP/ Dimbleby were secret backers of the BNP wouldn't they have had Griffin on before the Euro elections?

On the issue of 'audience packing' the political parties are invited to nominate attendees and are hardly likely to send secret BNPers are they?

The BBC have always defended their failure to invite the BNP on QT on the grounds that political parties are only invited if they have achieved representation in parliament, the Euro parl, or the parliaments/ assemblies of Scotland, Wales or NI. The BNP now meets that requirement.

I agree with the posters who say that noisy intervention would be counter-productive.

The "dream ticket" from our perspective would be for Griffin to be faced by a panel along the lines of :

Michael Heseltine for the Tories [disagree with many of his views, but has gravitas, and in my mind I can hear him describing Griffin as "a preposterous, foolish and dangerous little man"]

Shami Chakrabatti (apologies for spelling)

Lord Steel for the Lib Dems

The Labour place is trickier, but please not Harriet Harman or similar.

He (NG) is a prat - we should be demonstrating the fact.

irishtony said...

damm Iliacus I wish I wrote that

I agree with your post fully

Anonymous said...

I'm suspicious of those on here who keep reciting the mantra of no opposition and protest against the BNP because 'it helps them'. I am no proponent of shrill protest tactics for their own sake but those who suggest that we, in effect, do nothing to counter the BNP maybe have another adgenda.

We know that the BNP want to pose as a normal Party and that they hate protests.

Maybe these 'anti-facsist' would have slagged off those at Cable Street and Lewisham back in the day because they gave succour to the BUF and NF respectively.

Simon said...

I agree Iliacus but the hero of the hour (well the programme) will probably be somebody we have never even heard off...

Anonymous said...

Nick Griffin is apt to come out with some real own goals like the tirade about Pakistan/heroin trade on Newsnight where he turns the public off in gasping incredulity. The BBC may actually be working towards a spectacular in this vein. What Griffin does have slightly in his favour with the watching public is that he is still somewhat nervous and ill at ease in close interview and so can 'appear human' especially compared to the more polished (Dave Cameron) and android (John Redwood)type politicians.

Iow Griffin is an unknown quantity in terms of exactly how he'll fare on the night. Could bomb could warm. The BBC may simply be gambling for the former. As a conspiracy theory this is a little less far fetched than the Dimbleby's being closet nazis, people need to keep a grip.

Joe Chapman said...

I think we have to accept that this is going to happen, that we shouldn't waste time arguing about why it's happening and get on with doing whatever we can to make sure that Griffin does not get an easy ride.

We just need the right questions in there instead of more obvious ones, yes it would be great to get directly at The BNP's racism but I think this will need a clever approach.

I think concentrating on the anti-immigration myth is perfect. Of course immigration is going to come up but as I've written on the other story about this it needs to be swung away from the BNP's definition of 'immigration'.